Pennsylvania Rib Fest returns with more finger-lickin’ fun |
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Pennsylvania Rib Fest returns with more finger-lickin’ fun

Shirley McMarlin
Tribune-Review file
The Pennsylvania Rib Fest returns to the Westmoreland Fairgrounds June 28-30. Here Duane “Big Baby” Luckett of Forth Worth, Texas, cooks a rack of ribs for Cowboys BBQ and Rib Co. at the 2018 festival.
Tribune-Review file
National champion barbecue vendors will offer their fare at the Pennsylvania Rib Fest, June 28-30 at the Westmoreland Fairgrounds. Here, Noah (left) and Sam Boustead of Blairsville chow down at the 2018 festival.
Fleetwood Mac tribute band Gypsy will perform June 28 at the Pennsylvania Rib Fest at Westmoreland Fairgrounds.
Beatlemania Now will headline the June 29 musical acts at the Pennsylvania Rib Fest at Westmoreland Fairgrounds.
Simon Event Management
The annual Pennsylvania Rib Fest draws crowds of barbecue lovers to the Westmoreland Fairgrounds. The 2019 festival is June 28-30.

This is one event where you don’t want to wear your best shirt, because it probably would end up smeared with barbecue sauce. And that stuff just doesn’t want to wash out.

The Pennsylvania Rib Fest returns June 28-30 to the Westmoreland Fairgrounds for three days of lip-smackin’, finger-lickin’ food and fun.

“This year’s barbecue masters hail from Texas, Virginia, Ohio, Arkansas and Pennsylvania,” says event promoter Kelly Simon of Simon Event Management. “Local food vendors will also provide dozens of other foods and desserts including kid-friendly items.”

The barbecue vendors will be grilling up everything from ribs and brisket to other cuts of beef and pork, plus chicken and shrimp and who knows what else. Other festival food choices will include fries, beans, mac ‘n cheese, cole slaw, fried cheese and veggies and more — like the regional favorite pierogies, haluski and stuffed cabbage.

Your sweet tooth won’t go unsatisfied either, with choices like funnel cake, cotton candy, caramel and candy apples and deep-fried Twinkies.

Tell yourself you’re being healthy by washing it all down with a fresh-squeezed lemonade or a smoothie, or forget that and head for the beer garden or wine pavilion.

The beer garden will offer a veritable alphabet of more than 60 draft, craft and seasonal selections, from California-based Anderson Valley Brewing Co. to Weyerbacher Brewing Co. of Easton and dozens of others in between.

Those who prefer wine can sample vintages from Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery in Curwensville, with wines also available by the glass or bottle. For something a little stiffer, there will be cocktails from Stateside Urbancraft Vodka of Philadelphia.

More than just food

The fun starts with the food and continues with a full slate of music in various genres, including both local and national acts. with two of special note, Simon says.

The first is the Fleetwood Mac tribute band, Gypsy.

“Rikki Lee Wilson gives a stunning performance as Stevie Nicks with spot-on vocals and visuals that magically capture Nicks’s stage presence,” Simon says. “The feel of authenticity in Wilson’s performance is enhanced with this eight-piece band and the lush backing vocals of Deanna Carroll and Terry Pavia. Gypsy … has a production value that gives their audience a stellar experience second only to the real thing.”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles’ “White Album,” and Rib Fest will celebrate by hosting Beatlemania Now, an act that has played Broadway and stages around the world.

“The show features five costume changes and takes fans through their pop music beginnings to their invasion of America,” Simon says. “Fans will be singing along and dancing in the aisles and experiencing emotions that they thought were long gone. This is a must-see and -hear experience for all ages.”

Entertainment line-up

June 28

• 5 p.m. — The Blues Gang

• 6:30 p.m. — Andy Davis Band

• 8:30 p.m. — Gypsy

June 29

• 12:30 p.m. — Buddy Mac Band

• 2:30 p.m. — Andy Gregg Band

• 4:30 p.m. — Birmingham

• 6:30 p.m. — Saddle Up

8:30 p.m. — Beatlemania Now

June 30

• 12:30 p.m. — East Coast Turnaround

• 2:30 p.m. — Second Wind

• 4:30 p.m. — NOMaD

For the younger set, there will be a Kids’ Kingdom featuring Midgety Entertainment. Retail and home-based businesses will set up in The Marketplace to offer information on their products and services, along with rib fest discounts and specials. Vendors will include home improvement companies, a buyer and seller of jewelry and collectibles, vacation planners and resorts.

Tents, outdoor seating and tables will be available, although attendees can bring their own chairs. Admission is $5, or free to those under 12, and parking is free.

Details: 724-837-4223 or

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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